Arrests Made in Hammersmith Park and Wormwood Scrubs

Summer crime spree in borough's green spaces

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A drug dealer was arrested in Hammersmith Park last week in one of a series of incidents in and around the borough's parks and green spaces.

The man, who was apprehended on July 13, was carrying a substantial amount of what is believed to be a class A drug.

The following day, officers were called out to Wormwood Scrubs and arrested a youth who was riding a stolen motorbike across the park, while in nearby Brook Green, the parks constabulary helped arrest a shoplifter in Tesco’s, following a violent altercation with a store detective.

The incidents are the latest in a spate of crimes across the borough's 54 parks and open spaces which has so far led to the parks police making seven arrests in the last month for offences including burglary, drug dealing and shoplifting.

At the other end of the borough, two teenage girls were caught red-handed in Bishops Park on Saturday July 18 carrying a safe which had been stolen from Fulham Palace Play Project.

The Parks Constabulary, who arrested the girls, say the project suffered significant criminal damage during the break-in.

Officers were called to the scene after the caretaker heard the alarm. Two males were spotted running from the scene of the crime and enquiries are ongoing to try and trace them. Police are also investigating break-ins at the Fulham Palace Bowls Club and café that took place on the same evening.

In June, Eel Brook Common in Fulham faced what local police described as a "mini crime wave"  with two robberies, a third attack which was either a robbery or an assault and three other minor assaults - amounting to more crime in one weekend than the common had suffered since the start of the year.

Cllr Greg Smith, Cabinet Member for Crime and Street Scene, says: "We have some beautiful parks and open spaces in Hammersmith & Fulham but unfortunately, an unruly minority of people think that it is acceptable for them to be used as havens for antisocial and criminal behaviour.

"Our parks constabulary will continue to put all their efforts into fighting crime in our green spaces. These recent arrests should show criminals that we are determined to track them down, wherever they commit crime."

The council’s parks constabulary operates 365 days a year and is made up of one inspector, 21 constables and three sergeants.

Patrolling starts at 6am daily and finishes at 12.30am during the summer months and at 10pm during the winter months.

22 July 2009